Youth leader who trans­formed lives of young peo­ple dies

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Tributes - By Molly Mile­hamChap­pell

Trib­utes have been paid to a much-loved Ash­ford char­ity worker.

Tom Pel­ham, team leader for youth char­ity Up­ris­ing, died last month af­ter bat­tling can­cer.

Mr Pel­ham set up the char­ity three years ago to man­age and de­liver youth projects, and worked with the coun­cil over many years to set up and de­liver dif­fer­ent schemes across the town.

He also chaired the What Mat­ters Fo­rum, where youth pro­fes­sion­als come to­gether to sup­port each other.

He was well-known for his vi­sion, in­no­va­tion and pas­sion to sup­port young peo­ple and im­prove their lives.

Trustees for Up­ris­ing Youth and Com­mu­nity, made up of Louise Mitchell, Dayo Ifekoya and Re­becca Morse, said: “Tom Pel­ham was that rare in­di­vid­ual.

“A man with a heart for com­mu­nity, who en­thu­si­as­ti­cally in­spired oth­ers to join him in meet­ing a grow­ing need to trans­form the lives of young peo­ple in our town.

“Hav­ing been in­stru­men­tal in start­ing the suc­cess­ful Street Pas­tors ini­tia­tive, he be­gan a de­tached youth ser­vice, Hang 10, in Sum­mer 2011, with two youth work­ers, Andy Richard­son and Holly Pater­son.

“This new ini­tia­tive, in part­ner­ship with Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil, and Pipe­line, used a con­verted truck, and some sports equip­ment, to be­gin to en­gage with the young peo­ple in the town and to build pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships with them.

“Hang 10 then de­vel­oped into other projects in­clud­ing HOUSE, Com­mu­nity Ac­tion Team, Aspire and the Stan­hope Com­mu­nity Hub, and these projects have con­tin­ued with that same idea of com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and re­la­tion­ship build­ing.

“Driven by a deep Chris­tian con­vic­tion, and closely linked to Grow Church in Stan­hope, the work has blos­somed into a char­ity work­ing for the ben­e­fit of young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies.

“Up­ris­ing Youth and Com­mu­nity have con­tin­ued work­ing with lo­cal part­ners for the past few years to pro­vide fun, learn­ing and sup­port to a great num­ber of young peo­ple in the town who oth­er­wise would have had lit­tle help.

“The char­ity will re­main a strong pres­ence in the town, de­ter­mined to con­tinue the work Tom started, so that young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies ex­pe­ri­ence trans­formed lives.”

‘Tom Pel­ham was that rare in­di­vid­ual. A man with a heart for com­mu­nity, who en­thu­si­as­ti­cally in­spired oth­ers to join him’

Tom Pel­ham has died af­ter a bat­tle with can­cer

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